Well, when I applied, the application was given online without a fee. It was called the "Snap App". I applied online and in two weeks, I received my acceptance letter. I didn't even send in an essay or whatever. All I sent in were my SAT Scores, Transcripts, and the Snap App. I know the acceptance rate at Baylor University is about 67% (2005 - 2006), but I'm not exactly first in my class or anything. I am in the top 20% and I have taken as many hard classes as I could without dropping them. I mean, if you take all regulars then that's fine, but take SOME honors and AP classes for YOUR OWN benefit. Don't do it for the colleges. I sent in my application to these big name universities and got rejected by only two of them because of my AP and H class scores. Only if I had taken regulars and at least two or three honor and AP classes, then maybe I would have had a higher chance. I'm starting to doubt the whole "it's better to make a C in an AP class than make an A in a regular class". That's a lie, it is better to make an A in a regular class.
I'm White, so I think that may have played a minor role in the admissions, but... I doubt it. I honestly don't know what to think anymore. The whole college admission process gives me a headache with all the mind games that go along with it. My SAT scores were in the mid 1100's. My ACT scores were pretty average. Out of about 730 students, I'm number 99 in my class. So, check on that 20% thing. I'm not sure if I did my math correctly.
I'm in a bunch of extracurricular activities (Future Teachers of America and the Spanish Honor Society).
However, my advice to you is just do what you want to do. If you want to go to those big name schools, just work hard on your academics and stay focus on your dream. Don't get all side tracked like I did, doing soooo many things with the hard classes. I regret not working on one thing.
Anyway, high school is a period of development and being exposed to new things.
Just fill out the application and send it in. BU is a good school looking for individuals who are competent. You don't have to be Harvard material, but that would be nice... haha! Of course, the costs are expensive...and that's one reason why I may not go.
Anyway, it takes a chance on those who may posses the potential to do well in this world. BU was the first college to accept me and for that, I thank them with all my heart. Thank you BU! You gave me hope.
-- I know I went off on a tangent, but (HONESTLY) take a few honor and AP courses (if you can manage) and make good GOOD grades, do well on the SAT's (like 1100 minimum), a good essay (or do the Snap App and not do the essay/not pay for the application fee), and do well on your Exit Level TAKS or whatever tests are out there. Yep, that's pretty much it. Good luck! And I hope all of my blabbering helped you on your college journey.